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597 Ratings

Two English Girls

Les deux Anglaises et le continent

Directed by François Truffaut
France, 1971


At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman, befriends Anne, an Englishwoman. While spending time in England with Anne’s family, Claude falls in love with her sister Muriel, but both families lay down a year-long separation without contact before they may marry.

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Two English Girls Directed by François Truffaut
With its mood of romantic despair, Les Deux Anglaises may or may not be “the most vibrant and feverish film” (9) that Truffaut ever made. Yet it sets the tone for much of the “post-1968” cinema of the 70s and beyond. As a study of youthful idealism gone sour, it is as wrenchingly painful as La Maman et la putain/The Mother and the Whore (Jean Eustache, 1973) and Shampoo (Hal Ashby, 1975).
April 20, 2008
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It turns out to be the severest and most minimal of the director’s works, almost an anti-Jules et Jim in its withdrawal of empathy from the characters, its clipped style, and its refusal to charm (especially in the direction of Jean-Pierre Léaud – whose posturing, alienated mannerisms are matched at every turn by the equally stylized and nutty gestures of Stacey Tendeter).
March 01, 2002
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The importance of Two English Girls lies in its sheer vitality. The film is an extraordinary cinematic conjuring trick in which Truffaut draws the viewer both physically and visually into his own personal pleasures. He does this on a multitude of levels—if the pastoral scenes salute the work of Jean Renoir, then the washed pastel colors of Nestor Almendros’ Impressionist-influenced cinematography perfectly evoke Truffaut’s delight in the paintings of Renoir’s father, Auguste.
May 09, 1994
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